Title: The O.C. S1.E05 “The Outsider”
The O.C. S1.E06 “The Girlfriend”
Released: 2003
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 31

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome to Week 3 of The O.C.! Last week, Britt asked me a REALLY good question, since she knows how much I despise necklaces on men: what’s worse, Ryan’s leather choker or Luke’s puka shell necklace? While they are both loathsome accessories, I hate Ryan’s choker worse for two reasons: 1) I expect more from Ryan and 2) it looks like it’s literally choking him. 

Let’s play a drinking game!

The O.C. Drinking Game

Drink once every time:

The ladies have a convo while primping in front of a mirror
Seth makes a nerdy reference
Someone says “Chino”
Marissa and Ryan stare at each other longingly
Anyone plays a video game
Summer says “ew”
Anyone eats a bagel

Drink twice every time: 

Someone says “Newpsie”
Fisticuffs occur
Someone grabs a cup of coffee
Ryan and Seth read comic books
There’s a reference to “The Valley”

On to the episodes!

1.5 “The Outsider”

Ryan’s been feeling like a loafer for accepting all of those Cohen family freebies, so he takes a job at the Crab Shack to start pulling his weight. Seth misses his loafer pal, and gets a little jealz and insecurez when Ryan pals up with a former busboy from the wrong side of the tracks, Paul Wesley’s Donnie. Donnie looks like trouble right away, and sure enough, he ruins everything almost immediately. He and Ryan have a night on the town that results in some pretty major hangovers, but the real trouble occurs the next day, when Ryan’s supposed to be on a date with Marissa, and Donnie invites a hapless Seth out instead. Ryan is wary of the invitation, so he stands Marissa up in order to protect Seth’s virtue at this shady party. It’s a good thing he’s there, to give Seth sage advice like this: 

Seth’s parents’ Range Rover gets trashed, but fortunately the Cohens are so rich that this storyline, which would be a major event on another show, is dispensed with pretty quickly. Seth feels bad for salting Ryan’s game with Marissa (they’re still using that phrase, so I’m still using that phrase), so he cutely goes to her house to take the blame and beg her to give Ryan another chance. She does, and they have a pretty undeniably adorable date by the Cohens’ pool, eating grilled cheese and mac and cheese (the ultimate feast) and engaging in water-based horseplay that turns into towel-wrapped foreplay.

But Seth’s not done salting! Right before their lips connect, Ryan’s phone rings. Seth brought Donnie to a Newport party, and Donnie’s spent the ensuing hours drinking or breaking everything in sight, hitting on all of the girls and mad-dogging all of the guys – before he pulls a gun on Luke, who’s taking a break from having sex with Holly to confront him. Ryan shows up sort of in the nick of time – he wrests the gun from Donnie before anyone is killed, but not before Luke is shot in the shoulder. Ryan brings Luke to the hospital and there Marissa departs from Ryan to be with Luke. 

Meanwhile, the adults of Newport are dealing with nearly as much drama. The Newpsies are going on a long-planned trip to a spa, but now it’s awkward because Julie’s attending and her husband is a crook. But Julie is ever the master of her own narrative, and she takes control of the gossip by making herself out to be the victim of Jimmy’s dishonesty as much as anyone else in Newport. Kirsten silently abides the cattiness as long as she can, before she finally calls out each Newpsie for their own past transgressions (cocaine, promiscuity, the usual) and makes it very clear that she’s Team Jimmy, to Julie’s severe displeasure but not surprise. But Julie and Kirsten end the episode on a good note, as Julie confides that she knows Jimmy only married her to do the honorable thing when she became pregnant. Kirsten replies, “It’s your turn, Julie. Don’t abandon him,” and Julie looks thoughtful. 

And what are the mice doing while the cats are away? Sandy kindly offers legal support to Jimmy, even though he doesn’t much like him, and the guys bond a bit over steaks and beer. It remains pleasant in spite of Jimmy’s repeated attempts to ruin it by describing the year he met Kirsten as the best of his life and then telling Sandy, incredibly rudely, that Sandy has no idea what it means to provide for a family because Kirsten is rich. Sandy remains stoic and replies, “I think there’s more to providing for a family than money.” Sandy Cohen wisdom is the best wisdom. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who? 

The Vampire Diaries‘ Paul Wesley is credited as Paul Wasilewski here, but his eyebrows cannot be mistaken. 

Sandy and Kirsten cuteness

She’s so delighted to see beer in the fridge upon her return – “You bought beer? I miss beer.” – and then they start making out like the totally wonderful couple they are. Innocuous aside: that Kirsten sure likes her booze, huh?

Most bromantic moment

Any of Ryan and Seth’s montages on the Balboa Pier. Ryan bikes, Seth boards, and they just look so free together. 

Best Julie Cooper bitchery

To Kirsten, whom you’ll remember dated Jimmy until he married a pregnant Julie, “Who knew that when he knocked me up that it would be the best thing that ever happened to you?”

1.6 “The Girlfriend”

Enter Caleb Nichol! Kirsten’s imperious father is played by Alan Dale, who has played the wealthy, mean-spirited patriarch in a bunch of other stuff including Once Upon a TimeLost and Ugly Betty. He’s arriving for a visit and the Cohen house is in a tizzy because he’s such a scary dude. Kirsten’s planning a massive birthday party for him, but he’s too busy feeling snubbed that she didn’t consult him before adopting Ryan (or as Caleb calls him, “the kid that burned down my house“), so he demotes her out of spite. Sandy tries to convince Kirsten to quit – he’s always hated Caleb and hated the Newport Group – but Kirsten doesn’t actually want to quit her fulfilling and high-powered job. That doesn’t stop Sandy from telling Caleb that Kirsten wants to quit in a real dick move, but after some tension, Kirsten calmly stands up for herself to both Sandy and Caleb and gets her lofty position at the Newport Group back. 

Caleb has brought his age-inappropriate girlfriend Gabrielle to the house, and of course we meet her in a WB-patented slow motion bikini walk set to sexy music. 

Soon Ryan, Seth and Gabrielle are chilling in the hot tub together, and she’s using her throaty voice to encourage Ryan and Seth to go after their respective loves while also making her interest in Ryan very clear. Ryan goes to Marissa’s house to invite her to Caleb’s party, but Luke’s already there. Now that he’s had a near-death experience, Luke is all sweetness and light, and he’s attempting to reconcile with Marissa in a genuinely nice, non-pressuring way. He thanks Ryan for taking him to the hospital and later compliments Seth on his beautiful home, and oh man, I love sweet Luke! He’s here to stay, too. So Ryan gives up on Marissa pretty quickly, which gives Gabriel room to move in on him. They hook up, and when Ryan later tells Seth, Seth is SO IMPRESSED. 

But Seth’s doing okay with the ladies this week, too! He and Summer bump into each other on the pier, and she forces him (with no difficulty) to invite her to Caleb’s party. Seth is all: Whaa?

Of course, Summer only wants to attend the party because it’s a financial bachelor mecca (she’s been reading Forbes). She makes Seth introduce her to all the single wealthy dudes at the party, until Seth finally confronts her in the most wonderful way possible, and Summer swoons forever and so do we and THEY KISS!!!!

Also kissing, horizontally: Ryan and Gabrielle in the pool house during the party. Marissa goes to find Ryan because she realizes she wants to be with him, and she stumbles on him making out with his hot older lady. So she flees in tears, as is the Marissa Cooper way. She and Luke go back to his house and she gives him her virginity out of revenge, which I guess is as good a reason to lose your virginity as any other. Later, when Marissa sees Ryan mooning over her when she returns home, she tells him, “You’re too late” and turns her back on him into the house.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who? 

Nichole Hiltz plays Gabrielle , and she’s in a bunch of stuff but I know her best as the hypnotic Simone from Smallville, who plays a very similar role in finally breaking up Clark and Lana (for which I will always be grateful). By the way, I really like Gabrielle . She’s got a warmth to her beyond the usual gold-digger flatness of this kind of character. 

Best Seth Cohen line

Two – when Caleb says Seth was never good at “chasing skirts” and Seth replies, “Well, if by skirts you mean girls, in your outdated cowboy speak, then I have a little news for you.” Also this: 

Hair-wise, Seth Cohen, you are always winning. 

Seth and Summer 4ever

“I hated that mean squirrel” and Summer’s kickass mermaid poem are our first two indications of the completely awesome and unexpected depth of her character, a depth that, for so long, only Seth could see. Also, the way she looks at him <3

The social event of the week

Caleb’s birthday party, which was supposed to be an intimate family affair and quickly ballooned to 150 guests. However, there were no fisticuffs and no one was thrown into the pool, so the Cohens should be very grateful for that. 

Best Julie Cooper bitchery

When Jimmy tells her that he thinks he’s found a solution to their problems, Julie, “You built a time machine?” No, he’s going to ask Caleb for a job, to Julie’s chagrin. Caleb turns him down, but when Julie turns the charm on Caleb, he’s much more susceptible. 

That’s it for this week! I have a question for you guys: am I alone in kinda wanting to see Sweet Luke and Marissa stay together, and also sorta rooting for Gabrielle and Ryan?

And Britt, a question for you to answer next week – who’s more undeserving, early Season One Summer of Seth, or Season Two Seth of Summer? 

Join Britt next Wednesday morning as she discusses “The Escape” and “The Rescue.”


Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.